Just when you would say that there’s no trace of large space rocks near our cosmic vicinity, we now have to take into account a newly detected asteroid that is heading our way. NASA astronomers detected it in September, and it measures from 118 feet to 265 feet wide.
The asteroid’s name is 2020 RK2, and it will pass by our planet today, October 7. The space rock will even cross the Earth’s orbit at a distance of 2,380,800 miles away from the planet’s surface.
2020 RK2 belongs to the Andromeda galaxy
The asteroid will travel a very long way in order to come so close to us, as it started its cosmic journey from more than 2.53 million light-years away. However, Earth never seems to fall short when it comes to ‘unwanted visitors’ from space.
It was only on September 24 when another asteroid went past the Earth at a distance of only 13,000 miles. Another space rock also went past our planet at a distance of just 6.2 million km yesterday, October 6. That was just a day before 2020 RK2 will arrive close to the Earth’s orbit.
Even if we’re safe for now, the Universe can always become a pretty unfriendly place. For about every 10,000 years, according to NASA, “rocky or iron asteroids larger than about 100 meters would be expected to reach the Earth’s surface and cause local disasters or produce the tidal waves that can inundate low lying coastal areas.
“On an average of every several hundred thousand years or so, asteroids larger than a kilometre could cause global disasters.”
Unfortunately or not, the Andromeda galaxy has enough material to send even more asteroids to us. Being one of Milky Way’s neighbors, Andromeda has a radius that measures 110,000 light-years. One day, Milky Way and Andromeda will collide with each other, forming a much bigger galaxy.